Russia concern at Israeli 'air strike'
Iran and Russia have joined the Lebanese militant group Hizbullah in condemning a reported Israeli air strike on Syria.
Israel launched the air strike inside Syria yesterday, US officials said, targeting a convoy believed to contain anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hizbullah.
However the Syrian military denied the existence of any such weapons shipment and said a scientific research facility outside Damascus was hit by the Israeli warplanes. It said the target was in the area of Jamraya, north-west of Damascus and about 10 miles from the Lebanon border.
Russia, Syria’s strongest international ally, expressed concern and said it is taking “urgent measures to clarify the situation in all its details.”
“Whatever the motives, this is not justified.”
Iran’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi condemned the air strike on state television, calling it a clear violation of Syria’s sovereignty.
Hizbullah has condemned the Israeli attack.
The Lebanese militant group said the attack was an attempt to thwart Arab military capabilities and pledged to stand by its ally Dr Assad.
"Hizbullah expresses its full solidarity with Syria's leadership, army and people," it said in a statement today.
Hizbullah said the attack showed that the conflict in Syria, where Dr Assad is confronting an armed uprising, was part of a scheme "to destroy Syria and its army and foil its pivotal role in the resistance front (against Israel)".
The attack should make Dr Assad's opponents realise the danger of targeting Syria, Hizbullah said, and focus instead on "political dialogue as the sole basis to halt the bloodshed".